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Yale, Stanford endowments higher

Two endowments to which Harvard University’s is most often compared produced stronger investment results than the Cambridge giant in the fiscal year ended June 30.

Yale University on Thursday said it earned a 4.7 percent return for the year, while Harvard on Wednesday reported essentially flat results, down 0.05 percent. And Stanford University on Thursday reported a 1 percent gain for the year.

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All three institutions said declines in foreign stocks had hurt their portfolios. Harvard is the nation’s largest university endowment, with $30.7 billion in assets. Stanford ended the year with $19.7 billion, and Yale had $19.3 billion.

Yale’s 10-year and 20-year returns also have outpaced Harvard’s. The New Haven, Conn., Ivy League school said its produced a 10.6 percent average annual return over a decade, vs. Harvard’s 9.5 percent. Over 20 years, Yale has generated a 13.7 percent return annually, while Harvard has gained 12.3 percent.

Stanford finance chief Randy Livingston addressed the ongoing challenges facing large academic endowments in the current environment.

“Our endowment is still smaller than preceding the 2008-09 financial downturn, and we continue to be concerned about the possible reductions in federal research funding and an investment downturn driven by global economic malaise,” Livingston said in a statement.

Beth Healy can be reached at
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